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Farming in Reaper of Souls: Crafting, Legendary Materials, and White Items?

Posted 10 Jan 2014 by

I mentioned some of the oddities of the Reaper of Souls item game in a recent post, in regards to farming runs. I experienced more of the farming/runs play style over the last couple of days, and since it’s very different than item farming in Diablo 3, and kind of amusing, here’s some more detail.

RoS Crafting Requirements

kethryes-spirit1The farming comes in since you need odd materials for crafting set and legendary items in Reaper of Souls. If you haven’t already, check out our forum thread with all the new legendary mats and their drop locations. It was created by HardRock and compiles info submitted by dozens of beta testers about all the new legendary crafting materials and where they can be found. A few of them only drop from one single enemy (I’ve recently done way more Maghda runs than I’d like to remember), while others drop only from one type of monster.

In almost every case, the leg mats only come from Purple bosses, most of which are semi-randomly located throughout the game. The mats come from Purples of the same type, often found in the same area but sometimes in a variety of different areas. Click though for a full list.

On top of the legendary mats, you need to find white items of the appropriate type. White items, not blue or yellow or orange or green. This was not the case in the first version of the RoS beta, when any blue or yellow item of the appropriate type could be used. That made crafting very easy and twinking very hard, since you would accidentally vanish some rare from your stash when it was automatically selected for inclusion in the crafting recipe. Now you need the correct item type, and level, and it has to be white. And those can be hard to find, hence runs, as described below:


Legendary Materials

All info taken from the very useful forum thread. See it for full details; this is just the quick reference list:

  • DiabloWikiAngelic Shard – Used for the Hallowed Set. Drops from Fallen Angels.
  • DiabloWikiBorn’s Key – Used for Born’s Frozen Soul set. Drops from Zombies.
  • DiabloWikiCaptured Nightmares – Used for One-handed Mighty Weapon. Drops from Terror Demons in Act 4.
  • DiabloWikiCartographer’s Toolkit – Used for Board Walkers Boots. Drops from Ghouls.
  • DiabloWikiCultist’s Blood – Used for Dagger. Drops from Cultists.
  • DiabloWikiDemon Skin – Used for the Demon’s Set. Drops from Phasebeasts, Oppressors and Armored Destroyers.
  • DiabloWikiElement of Celerity – Used for Legendary Belt. Drops from Scavengers.
  • DiabloWikiEssence of the Twin Seas – Used for the Captain Crimson’s Trimmings Set. Drops from Dune Threshers.
  • DiabloWikiEyes of the Dead – Used for Two-handed Mighty Weapon. Drops from Skeletons.
  • DiabloWikiFrozen Blood – Used for Utar’s Roar One-handed Axe. Possibly drops in the Caverns of Frost in Act 3.
  • DiabloWikiGriswold’s Scribblings – Used for Griswold’s Perfection One-handed Sword. Drops from objects that drop lore journals, but more often from bookshelves.
  • DiabloWikiIron Wolves Doctrine – Used for the Asheara’s Vestments Set. Drops from Deceiver Magi.
  • DiabloWikiLiving Flame – Used for Cinder Switch Two-handed Axe. Drops from Morlu Casters.
  • DiabloWikiMaghda’s Tormented Soul – Used for the Cain’s Destiny Set. Drops from Maghda.
  • DiabloWikiMystical Source – Used for the Sage’s Set. Drops from Ponies in Whimsyshire.
  • DiabloWikiQuaking Vial – Used for Sunder, Two-handed Mace. Drops from Mallet Lords.
  • DiabloWikiShard of Entsteig Plate – Used for the Aughild’s Set. Drops from Enraged Phantoms.
  • DiabloWikiShattered Core – Used for One-Handed Mace. Drops from Sand Dwellers.
  • DiabloWikiSyduru Bone. Drops from Rockworms and Bats.
  • DiabloWikiSymbol of the Guardian Brotherhood – Used for the Guardian’s Jeopardy Set. Drops from Demon Troopers.
  • My, that’s a lot of them. The forum thread contains a semi-extensive list of confirmed Purples that drop each one, and it’s a work in progress.

    You don’t find them all just playing normally, either. I’ve played a fair amount in the current RoS beta patch, doing bounties in all five acts, and I’ve found 11 different legendary materials out of the 20 known. You need to hunt specifically to find them, especially if you want them for item sets, since you need one for each item in the set. (And maybe more than one if your RNG is bad and you want to reroll another item in one of the slots.

    How often do they drop? Hard to say. Does Magic Find and/or higher difficulty level improve the drop rate of legendary materials? Unknown. (Yes, I sound like a Blue CM. I’ll check with White “Board” Cheng and get back to you.)

    I didn’t keep exact track, but I did about 35 Maghda runs to find 4 of the Magdha’s Tormented Soul material. I did those runs on Hard, Expert, and Master, and noticed no difference in drop rate between them, all done with minimal MF gear. (Now I have 108% MF thanks to wearing 3 items of Cain’s Set, and two Maghda visits with the set on yielded no additional mats.) Obviously, more runs than the 30ish I did are required to get any real sense of the drop rate varying with difficulty level and/or Magic Find. (Torment says it ups the drop rats of legendary items, but it’s not clear if that applies to legendary materials also.)

    RoS beta leg mat collection.

    RoS beta leg mat collection.

    The distribution of Legendary Mats varies a lot as well. Some of them only drop from one monster, or a monster type that’s not often seen or not in a convenient location. You see to the right a screen of my stash with all the leg mats I’ve found lately in the RoS Beta, less the 4 Maghda mats I went well out of my way to farm, since I used all 4 making items.

    Most of the legendary mats now have that default blood splash graphic, but I’m sure that’s just a placeholder of sorts and we’ll see individual graphics for all of them come release. (Or possibly the next patch.) Probably that graphic will remain in use for Cultist Blood, which I have 2 stacks of now.

    The hover is on the most common leg mat, the Griswold’s Scribblings. I got almost all of those from various Cain’s lost backpacks, simply since there are so many of them found around the world. (You also get them from bookshelves and other things.) Other leg mats I’ve only found once (or not at all), since they only drop from chance Purple encounters. Which is why I’ve only found 9 of the 20 or so possible legendary mats.

    That’s probably how it’ll go for most players in the live game, since you’re not going to hunt specifically for some material unless/until you need it, and that’ll only happen after you find some legendary or set item plan that requires it. I certainly didn’t pay any attention to Maghda until I found the Cain’s set and decided I wanted to try out the 100% Magic Find bonus from 3 of the items, and since each item required one of Maghda’s leg mat, it was Maghda run time.


    Item Runs in Diablo III Reaper of Souls

    Incidentally, runs are inconvenient, in terms of creating game after game. You have to exit the game after the 10s delay (or 5s TP to town and then instant exit), create a new game, wait for it to load, open the Waypoint menu, click to the correct act, click to the correct waypoint, run to find the Purple (which might only spawn some % of games if it’s not a quest type boss), and then repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Some way to restart a game with one click, or just a way to respawn monsters in a game would be handy, though I guess it would be exploited to death in some clever way.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Incidentally #2, set and legendary items you make do not get a special bonus property (in orange text) like most found legs/sets, but they are still pretty likely to be big upgrades over Rares. You see my Monk’s previous rare boots vs the first roll I got on Cain’s boots, and the Rares were nearly perfect on the rolls, since I’d found a *lot* of rare boots and had enchanted them all. The set version just had higher potential stats and resistance, plus the partial set bonus potential.

    Cain's Travelers vs. Rare boots.

    Cain’s Travelers vs. Rare boots.

    Crafted set/legs now seem like they’re meant to fill the void between rares and higher quality found legendaries, and they do that pretty well in my RoS beta experience.


    Crafting and Enchanting

    So crafted set/leg items have the potential (certainty?) to roll with higher stats than Rares. That doesn’t meant they always roll well, though. Almost all of the crafted set/leg items just go with 6 random modifiers, and while there seems to be some guaranteed quality (you’ll never get 6 secondary affixes), it’s not a sure thing to be an upgrade over your Rare item. (Which is probably pretty good, since you find Rares constantly and they’re cheap to Enchant.) With the Cain’s set items I got a solid upgrade on boots, a break even on gloves (worth using for the partial set bonus, though), but the pants I rolled were pretty poor on the RNG.

    They had 1 socket, vit, defense, and +damage to a skill I didn’t use. My option then was to enchant them, or to salvage them and roll new ones.

    Enchanting allows you to change one and only one affix, but when you do that with sets/legs it costs gold and a Forgotten Soul material (only obtained from salvaging lvl 61+ legendary/set items). Enchanting Rares is much easier, with only a gold cost. So if you want to enchant a set/leg, it’s going to cost a material that’s quite scarce at this point in the beta test, and you can only do that with one affix.

    If you craft an item that has really bad roll, with 2 or more sub-optimal primary affixes, you might want to just salvage it (which nets you a Forgotten Soul, but kills the item and the legendary material) and make a new one. But to make a new one you’ll need the legendary material, the Forgotten Soul, and the base item of the correct type, in white quality.

    All of those things are hard to find.


    White Item Farming

    ashearas-finders1This is a weird thing that you’ll never do in Diablo 3. During various interviews since RoS was revelaed we’ve heard from the devs that they want to make white items valuable, much as they were in Diablo 3 (since you could socket them for Runeword).

    Guess what? They’ve succeeded. White items are actually much harder to find than rares, and looking for a specific white item type, of the highest level, can be petty tedious. You see the recipe required for Asheara’s boots to the right, and note the boot type (which I have) and the leg mat (“Iron Wolves Doctrine” which I do not).

    As I said earlier, you have to have white quality items for all legendary set/legt crafting recipes. These aren’t easy to find in RoS. You need not just any boots, or helm, or shoulders, etc, but the specific type/quality stated. These drop sometimes from random bosses, but mostly they are found from weapon or armor racks throughout the game world.

    You can buy them from vendors sometimes; we were talking about this in the clan chat last night and ZappaFan insisted he’s bought many white items from vendors. I have not; the vendors I see in town almost never have a white item and the vendors found in the wild might have one or two, but they’re hard to find and unpredictable in their stock. For my white item hunting I’ve learned that there’s a difference between *armor* and *weapon* racks. You get a lot of “weapon” racks in Act 1 in the Cathedral and Leoric’s levels, and those drop weapons. If you want armor, the best place is the Act Five Battlefields of Eternity, which is just choked with armor racks (but not weapons) most of which drop white items.

    battlefields-eternity-decaying-armor1
    Of course the armor type you want will drop 1/50 while you get 17 gloves or Pauldrons or whatever, but that’s RNG for you. Blame Jay Wilson if you must.

    I wound up rolling a second Cain’s Pants, and they weren’t great either, with just one socket and a bonus to a skill I didn’t use. So I spent my last Forgotten Soul to enchant it and it rolled… +defense. Rather than resistance, or a skill I did use. So, at least I’ve got something to plan to spend Forgotten Souls on, when I enchant it again.


    Farming Runs

    Which brings us to farming runs, which are very much back in RoS, at least in the beta. I’ve been farming for materials, and farming for white items. The former is mandatory, especially if you’re doing an item set and need several of them. White items aren’t so hard to find, but you need to plan ahead since it’s hard to find any specific type. You might need 10 or 15 or 20 runs of Maghda to find her legendary mat, but at least you know who/where/what to kill to find it. You have no such guarantee for white items, hence the key is to plan ahead. (I did not.)

    All the level 70 recipes require the highest level items, and those are pretty much all that drops once you’re level 70. So just make a point to pick up the white items and save the ones you’ll eventually need for crafting. Ascendent Helm, bracers, pauldrons, etc. I didn’t do that, which is why I had to farm them. I’ve saved up white items now though, filling two rows in my stash with each type of armor and a selection of weapons. Which wouldn’t have been necessary had I planned ahead. As you can, now that you’ve read this.

    Forewarned is forearmed. Literally, in this case.

    That said, I enjoyed it. It was fun to know what materials I needed to make items that were likely upgrades, and to find places to search for the white items. I don’t think players mind hunting for specific items; it’s when you’ve got no direction or idea what or where you should go do find an item or material that it gets frustrating. When you know that Magdha (or whoever) can drop what you need, you just go and get it, even if it takes you a lot of trials. Thus I think the legendary/set item crafting in Reaper of Souls will work pretty well, providing the items are good enough quality to be worth the trouble. The ones I crafted from Cain’s set were, though I hope to replace them with better legendaries and then pass them down to my Demon Hunter.

    That brings up the issue of trading and binding and the Auction House, but I’m not going to go into it here. Listen to the last podcast with Azzure if you want that argument. In basic terms, binding means higher drop rates, so if there’s no binding and thus trading, you won’t find as much good stuff.

    That said, I think item plans and legendary materials really need to be tradeable to people in the game when you find them, the same as legendary/set items are. Having to just drop a legendary plan on the ground to rot, where it’s seen by other players how might need it but who can’t pick it up, is really annoying.

    On the larger issue though, do you guys anticipate farming and crafting and item hunting? I like having specific targets, as well as the RNG of searching all Sanctuary and hoping for a lucky drop. Agree or disagree?